Can Psychology Provide a Coherent Account of Human Behavior? A Proposed Multiexplanation-Model Theory

Behavior and Philosophy 25 (1):43 - 76 (1997)
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Human behavior cannot be understood by using only models of explanation utilized in the natural sciences. Multiple models of explanation, which are not consistent with, or reducible to each other, are required and are in fact used in psychology to explain human actions. This situation, called "Multiexplanation," could cause a problem of developing a justified correspondence between psychological phenomena and multiple models of explanation. Unless this problem is solved, the explanatory capability of a psychological theory seems inconsistent and ad hoc. A solution suggesting "correspondence guidelines" between phenomena and available models of explanation and "organization guidelines" for constructing a coherent psychological theory is offered. It contributes to the development of a "multiexplanation-model theory" (or a "multimodel theory" for brevity) which employs different models of explanation needed for proposing accounts of psychological phenomena.



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